Creating a System of Innovation
What is a system of innovation? Innovation is at the heart of what drives Intel’s products and cultural values. Intel IT is dedicated to helping Intel thrive, and we must be as innovative as possible in our own roles. Recognizing the opportunity for encouraging more innovation across Intel IT, we set out to do exactly that. In early 2022, an Intel IT team was formed to focus on innovation. The team researched best practices and formed a system of innovation that starts at the top—fostering a leadership culture that removes fear and dares teams to experiment. We identified seven foundational principles that enable innovative ideas to surface and leaders to follow through on 100% of ideas. To give workers a chance to explore ideas and reduce technical debt, we reserve 20% of team capacity for continuous improvement efforts (which is a form of innovation), through an initiative called Keep Improving IT (KIIT). Over the last 16 months, our Innovation Day (InnoDays) events have resulted in 184 new ideas, 49 of which have been operationalized. A recent survey revealed that these 49 ideas are saving at least 122 hours per week (6,300 hours per year). We recently surveyed participants about how InnoDays have affected team capacity, team health and product value. The survey results made it clear that increased team capacity was the largest area of improvement, driven in large part by a growing use of automation. “Higher quality” was the largest sector in the team capacity category at 42%. Within the team health category, “higher happiness” represented over 50% of the overall category. For the product value category, “new product value” and “faster time to market” were the largest sectors at 44% and 31%, respectively. Our system of innovation provides a formal framework to drive the implementation of new ideas across Intel. By encouraging a culture of innovation from the top down, adhering to a set of foundational principles, and providing access to innovation events where teams can share their ideas, we are helping to ensure the continued level of transformative ideas that will power Intel into the future. Word of our success has spread, and other Intel IT groups are beginning to adopt our system of innovation. We hope that by sharing our approach to encouraging innovation in Intel IT, we can inspire other companies to achieve similar results.